We show that when an arbitrary optical beam is decomposed into a superposition of Hermite–Gaussian functions, it is sufficient to record a number of intensity profiles sampled at various transverse planes to uniquely determine the relative modal weights. This result follows from the parity relation and the nature of the Gouy phase, in addition to the orthogonality of the Fourier-transformed intensity profiles associated with the Hermite–Gaussian modes.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 12, 1999
Revised Manuscript: February 18, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: February 18, 2000
Published: June 1, 2000
Xin Xue, Haiqing Wei, and Andrew G. Kirk, "Intensity-based modal decomposition of optical beams in terms of Hermite–Gaussian functions," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1086-1091 (2000)